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Trivia / Something Wicked This Way Comes

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $19 million (estimated). Box office, $8.4 million.
  • Creator Killer: This ultimately became the final straw for newly-installed Disney CEO Ron Miller. He released Splash the next year under the new Touchstone label, but was dethroned by Paramount president Michael Eisner anyway.
  • Deleted Scene: A special-effects sequence that took place at the beginning of the film was cut shortly before the movie hit theaters. In this sequence, the carnival materializes from the smoke of the train, the smoke from the engine "becomes ropes and canvas tents. Tree limbs grow together to form a ferris wheel and a spider web mutates into a wheel of fortune." This sequence was the first time that computer animation was used to animate organic material, and it was combined with traditional animation. The scene was deemed not convincing enough, by Disney executives, and was cut from the film at the very last minute.
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  • Executive Meddling: Disney made many changes to the film which Ray Bradbury and director Jack Clayton did not intend. Many extra special effects scenes were shot by a second unit director after original production wrapped, and other changes were made before its release. According to the laserdisc commentary by Bradbury, much of his original intentions for the movie were destroyed.
  • Follow the Leader: Stephen King clumsily did his own take with Needful Things.
  • Referenced by...: The Heavy Metal band Lock Up titled their only album, released in 1989, Something Bitchin' This Way Comes.
  • Star-Making Role: Jonathan Pryce's turn as Mr. Dark was eye-opening.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Ralph Bakshi was tapped to direct the film. Like Blade Runner, he passed on it.
    • Peter O'Toole and Christopher Lee were considered for the part of Mr. Dark. Edward James Olmos was offered the role, but turned it down.
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    • Kirk Douglas bought the rights and originally intended to produce as well as play the role of the father. His son Peter Douglas remained on the project as producer.
    • Disney regulars Darren McGavin, Dick Van Dyke, and Dean Jones were the first considerations for Charles Halloway. Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, James Garner, and Hal Holbrook were also considered.
    • Ray Bradbury asked both David Lean and Steven Spielberg if they were interested in directing the film.
    • Sam Peckinpah briefly flirted with the idea of filming the story, but was unable to raise the necessary financing.
    • Stephen King wrote a rejected adaptation.
    • Before production on the movie began, Don Coscarelli had hoped to adapt the book himself. Unfortunately for him, the rights had already been sold by that point. He ended up making Phantasm, which he has said took some inspiration from Something Wicked This Way Comes.
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